The following is not the complete list of the crew. This list represents those members of the crew or their families where contact has been made. The goal is to make this a compelte list!
Please if you have any info on a crew member please reach out to us by using the CONTACT US feature or email USSFrederickDavis@gmail.com.
Click on the name of the crewmember and it will take you to that particular crew members info/picture.
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This page is a work in progress. My goal is to add info on each sailor that was on the USS Frederick C. Davis. The intent is to learn as much as possible about each crew member. Please use the CONTACT page to let me know if you have any info that can be added. It would be my honor to add what you have about any sailor of the USS FC Davis.
Adcock, Albert Ray
The following pdf is a letter from Albert Ray Adcock written on 6 July 1945. He talks some of the day of the sinking of the ship. He talks about another sailor named "Albert" (he is referring to Albert Barnak) that was killed.
The following pictures and letter were sent by Carol Pearson, cousin to Albert Barnak.
From Carol Pearson:
Albert's death really affected me deeply even though I was pretty young - 10 years old. He was just always so nice to me and such nice guy. To the day he died, my Dad always said that Albert didn't die, he swam to a nearby island (actually there were none, but I never told him that, let him have his dreams) and had amnesia so he didn't come home. I would like to think that was the case, but afraid not.
Albert was a true hero - he saved another seaman's life although he, himself, was severely injured, and in so doing, he lost his own life. I'm so very proud of him, will never forget him.
Albert not only received the Bronze Star, but also the Purple Heart.
Albert was awarded the Bronze Star. The following is a transcription written to the Sec of Navy.
BARNAK, ALBERT A. USNR 942 40 04
BARNAK was in the sound hut operating the Sonar equipment on the morning of the 24th of April, 1945. At 0830 he made the first contact on the German submarine which ten minutes later torpedoed the DAVIS. The explosion of the torpedo badly injured BARNAK, but, in spite of his dazed and injured condition, he exhibited courage, selflessness, and devotion to the welfare of a shipmate, far above and beyond the call of duty. He remained in the sound hut of the fast-sinking ship until he was able to extricate an unconscious sound operator, PACAHOUSKY, from beneath the overturned sound gear, dragged him out to the flying bridge, tied a life jacket on him, and towed him to the safety of a life raft. Because of these gallant actions, PACAHOUSKY lives today. BARNAK died in the water from his injuries and the exhaustion incurred during his strenuous effort in saving his shipmate.
The fact that Albert saved Pacahousky is important because apparently, according to Dad, Pacahousky was a big hulk of a fellow who made sure that the ship’s doctor onboard the USS BOGUE gave priority to the Davis men instead of pandering to the German Officers from the sub (it was torpedoed by DAVIS’s fellow DE’s); who were also on board as POW’s. The rules of war are cryptic to say the least, but captured officers apparently sometimes move to the front of the line by virtue of their rank. As the story goes, Pacahousky, using his considerable, physical presence helped to make sure that that wasn’t the case in this circumstance.
Dayton's nickname was "Buddy", and that he was to all who came into contact with him. He was born and raised on a farm near Clinton, Minnesota, pop. 520. Dayton had 4 brothers, along with Dayton served during WW II.
Dayton Betts volunteered for the U.S. Navy in November of 1942. After boot camp, the Navy trained Dayton to be a machinist mate. The job of an MM is to "operate, maintain, and repair (organizational and intermediate level) ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery, such as: steering engine, hoisting machinery, and other types of mechanical equipment. The machinist mate's ‘home’ on a ship was the engine room.
When schooling was completed, Dayton was assigned to the USS Frederick C. Davis as Motor Machinist’s Mate Third Class.
The following came from the niece of Clyde Bridges.
Burr, Harry Russell JR
Walthin Macklyn Hale Cardwell boarded the FC Davis on his birthday, 3/31/1945. He was lost that day in April, 1945. He was one of four brothers who enlisted in the USN in WWII. He was a very self taught talented artist. He drew charcoal portraits, murals, plaster of paris molds, wood carvings, hand made knives, etc..His brothers said they were awaiting his return to Texas to help them start a neon sign business in Houston. The brothers built the business without Walthin. There are still neon signs on Houston made by the Cardwell boys to this day.
Combs, James Aaron
Officer George Gowling (standing, in the middle)
James Combs (squatting )
SPECIAL MISSION S CREW
(L to R)
Richard L. Youmans
George W. Gowling
Frank A. Frazier
James A. Combs
Fleming, Joseph P.
The following poem was written by Patricia Fleming, daughter of Joseph Fleming.
I would like to thank her for letting me publish this on the ship's website.
A VETERAN’S TALE
By Patricia A Fleming
He was raised in the heart of a mountain,
But possessed a great love for the sea.
And gliding upon her foamy, blue surf,
Was the greatest of all of his dreams.
He knew that one day she would carry him far,
She would take him to places unknown.
And only the sea could lure him away,
From the comfort and safety of home.
And then at 19, his chance finally came,
To answer the call of the sea.
When just like his father before him,
He joined the United States Navy.
He served on the Frederick C. Davis,
What a grand Navy vessel was she!
As he stood on her decks at Attention!
She forged his way through that great sea.
He shared his cramped quarters with 192 men,
Just as young and naïve as he.
Through squabbles and fist fights, laughter and fear,
No stronger bond could there be.
They grew up far too fast in that man-made Hell,
From young boys to men side by side.
They leaned on each other for courage and strength,
In the end, that’s what kept them alive.
Together they fought every Battle,
Together they fought to survive.
Facing horrors meant only for nightmares,
Every day staring death in the eye.
Then one tragic day in April, 1945,
Their beloved ship would soon cease to be.
When a streaming torpedo tore her hull right in two,
Discharging her men to the sea.
He floated for hours, hurt and in shock,
Searching the sea for his friends.
The sights that he saw were burned in his mind,
This nightmare he knew could not end.
With 76 shipmates, he was saved from that sea,
But his living could not ease the pain.
Of losing those men he had fought with,
Those men that were now part of him.
He accepted his medals and returned to his home,
A man who was forever changed.
And to the day of his death he never forgot,
He lived every day with the shame.
What gave him the right to still be alive?
Why didn’t he die that dark day?
This was a guilt that tarnished his life,
A debt that he never could pay.
Like so many Veterans my Dad couldn’t bear,
It was a wound that did not go away.
And often he’d go to stand by that sea,
To pay homage to those men lost that day.
When my Dad passed away his wishes were clear,
I knew where he so longed to be.
So I scattered his ashes so he’d finally find peace,
Once again with his comrades at sea.
Garner, Thomas Leonard
Thomas Leonard Garner and unknown FC Davis sailor
My Aunt Jo told me the story of when the telegram came to notify the family that my grandpa was lost at sea. My mom and her were alone at the house when the boy came from the local drugstore with the telegram. He asked for any adults but no one was there. He told them not to open it until their mom came home. Of course, they went ahead and opened it. Heartbreaking.
My mom, Shirley (on the left of gramps), and her sister, Jo (on the right), in the foreground
Harmon, Harry Chilton
Harry Chilton Harmon, son of Sidney Harmon Sr and Mary F Bishop Tabor Harmon (brother of Jasper F "Jack" Harmon
Picture to Right:
Sid Harmon, Sr., holding Harry C Harmon (about 1926), standing R-L Jack Harmon and Sid Harmon, Jr.
Picture to Left:
Harry Chilton Harmon, with his maternal grandmother (to his left) and unidentified woman on his right
Harry Chilton Harmon (L) and unknown sailor/best friend
Harry Chilton Harmon and his brother George Harmon (Sgt US Army)
Hartranft, Frank Crawford
The following picture is from Linda, Frank's niece. Frank was 18 years old. Frank's sister was 15 at the time of his death. She talks about taking his picture to bed with her and putting it under her pillow when she slept.
Johnson, Arthur Francis
Arthur Johnson with his two children, Christina and Arthur Jr.
On the left, is a page from a book on the centennial of St Margaret Mary's in Omaha, Nebraska. Arthur Johnson was the first baptism held at the church.
The following pictures are from Stephanie Kip, daughter of Ruloff Kip.
The following is the Purple Heart Ceremony program for Lt Kip. The ceremony was held on the USS Intrepid. He did not receive his award until May 21, 2002.
The audio below is from NPR's Morning Edition program dated May 27, 2002. It covers the history of the purple heart and the ceremony at the Intrepid.
Bob was one of the 115 sailors that died that day in April, 1945. He left behind his fiancee , Ann Thayer (picture below). It was months later, as she was traveling on a train that a young man ask her, I'm sorry, but are you Ann Thayer?". Then he said, "I was on Bob's ship". He had recognized her from a picture that Bob had (picture below). She did go on to marry but never forgot Bob. Lt Comm. Henry Thayer would have been Bob's father-in-law. After her husband died, she wore Bob's engagement ring for the rest of her life.
Bob Klube is pictured on the left. Lt Comm Henry Thayer on the right aboard YO-136
Bob Klube is pictured at the right. On the left is Lt Comm. Henry Everett Thayer. Both Klube and Thayer served aboard the YO-136 in Boston.
Ship's officers. Bob Klube is pictured at the far right, seated. My grandfather, William Glass, who served under him described him as a "pretty good egg".
Moon, Claud Everett
The following pictures are from Susan Moon Weaver, daughter of Claud Moon.
From Linda: This is my father Claud Everett Moon, EM3c. He was one of the survivors of the sinking. He was 19yrs old on the day of the attack and had been in the Navy since the fall of 1942 when he turned 17. He would be the first to tell you that he was a recalcitrant sailor and not suited for the discipline of the military, but he did go on to be an honorable, strong, successful man and my hero.
Wedding picture (February 19, 1945)
The following pictures and poem are from Merrilynn Gross Roycraft, niece of Wayne Morgan.
"In My Memory"
by Lilian Morgan (Wayne's mom), April 24, 1953
Today dawns bright and clear,
As it did one day in yesteryear.
And my memory strays back to that fateful day,
When you were taken away.
God told me in a dream
Of how you died for me
And had come to live with him on high,
And that we would meet in the sky.
Our lives changed that day for Dad and I.
And I often think of you and tears fill my eyes.
But I know that no more wars will fight.
That all your day will be filled with sunshine bright.
We want you to know
That we miss you more,
As the days and years go by.
We only live to meet you, in the by and by.
May you rest in peace in the ocean so blue and deep
And the wars and heartaches
From this world did take.
Will be just a memory.
Nowicke, Richard S1C
Richard Nowicke: Born 4/4/1926. Passed on 9/18/2009. He was known as Ray. He had four children and resided in Michigan his whole life. His father was also a Navy man in WW1. Mr. Nowicke was awarded the purple heart.
In the group shot below, Ray is in the middle.
From the daughter of Wilbur Nye.
Wilbur Charles Nye joined the crew of the USS Frederick C Davis (D-136) on Nov. 30, 1944 at Naples, Italy. He was a sonar operator. He was 17 when he joined, and turned 18 in Feb, 1945. The ship was sunk Apr. 24, 1945.
He survived (with injuries), being picked up from the ocean by the USS Hayter (DE-212). He later received a Purple Heart for those injuries.
He died in 2003.
From the admin: You can read more of the heriocs of the USS Hayter crew in the "24 April 1945" section on this website.
Home on leave after boot camp
Wilbur and his brother, Percy
Wilbur Nye (third row from front, 5th from left) went on to serve on the USS Stribling, DD-867.
From Wilbur's Daughter:
Wilbur Nye was from Hessel, Michigan.
When I was a child, I noticed a scar on his back and asked him about it. He simply told me it was “from the war”. When I asked him to tell me about it, he said, “You don’t need to know about that.”
Later, when he was much older, he dictated this information to me (Florence Nye Cleary) as his memories of his military service including his 5 months on the F. C. Davis:
“I finished 11th grade in 1944, and that summer enlisted in Sault Ste Marie with Roy Nye and Kent Hamel. We took the train from Rudyard, MI to Great Lakes, Illinois, where we had 4 weeks of training.
“After a short home leave, we returned to Great Lakes, where I was separated from Roy and Kent and was sent to Bremerton, WA. The following day I went to Norfolk, Virginia, and then on a transport plane to Naples, Italy to join the crew of the F. C. Davis (named after a man killed at Pearl Harbor). I was a sonar operator.
“The F. C. Davis was on convoy duty near New York and Boston for about 1 1/2 years. Then the F. C. Davis was in the Mediterranean for about 1 1/2 years. The Germans were bombing England at the time, and the F. C. Davis was shooting German planes.
“Captain Crosby was from Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. He and his men used to shoot Eiderducks for target practice on the back deck of the ship.
“Everyone took turns doing 2 weeks of KP duty. Ray Adcock of Columbia, SC taught me how to use a big machine potato peeler. I accidentally left the machine running and the potatoes peeled down to almost nothing. I have been great friends with Ray Adcock ever since then!
“The F. C. Davis was sunk on April 24, 1945, near Norway and Sweden by a German boat. The Davis was the last American ship sunk in WWII. The German boat was then sunk by the Davis’ sister ships - the Hayter and the Pillsbury.
“I was injured, and the Hayter picked me up from the water and transferred me to the USS Bogue (aircraft carrier). I was taken to Greenland, then the Newfoundland Navy base hospital. Later I was transferred to Boston, then sent home for 30 days.
“I then had 1 month rehabilitation leave at Miami Beach, after which I was sent to Norfolk for “Amphibious School”. This was in preparation for invading Japan underwater to plant explosives. We were scheduled to go into Tokyo by submarine, but the atomic bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered.
“Then I went to Key West to another ship, the destroyer Stribling. The captain of the Stribling, Commander Bulkeley, was the PT boat captain who had taken MacArthur off the Philippines and received the Medal of Honor from Roosevelt. He later was made an admiral.
“For 6 months we made runs to Havana, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay).
“When the war ended, it was a fun time. Bulkeley went up the Potomac River with that big Stribling Destroyer and turned it around there.
“I went back to Great Lakes to be discharged.”
Robert, in the middle, with his 2 brothers. Brutus (on the left) and Raymond (on the right).
The Preston family is trying to identify which young sailor is Robert in this picture of the Ship's Cooks and StoreKeepers.
Wedding day for Robert on September 9, 1948. Robert and his wife are in the middle. Robert's best man was his brother, Raymond , on the left. The couple had 6 children.
This is taken from a Navy report on interviews taken with
Rings that William made. Algiers Africa 1943; Sicily 1943 - 44
Nazi pilot wings. William brought this home. From a downed Nazi pilot that was taken aboard the ship.
I never personally met Mr Riemers, but we did communicate via letter and email. He was a tremendous assistance to my mom, Shirley Tepe (daughter of William Glass, MoMM2C). The tradegy of losing her father stayed with her all her life. The help from Mr Riemers made it easier.
There has been one name consistent in my research of the ship and its sailors, Bill Riemers. It is apparent that he held the ship and crew in a special place in his heart.
Receiving his purple heart.
Darwin Salls was 17 when he enlisted. He graduated in 2000.
Thompson, Willie Walter
Forrest "PeeWee" Williams is pictured below on the left. His brother is on the right who also served in the Navy.